President Lee Myung-bak and his U.S. counterpart Barack Obama on Tuesday morning agreed to strengthen cooperation with neighboring countries to send a clear message to North Korea that its provocations will come at a price.
Meeting in Washington, the two leaders agreed to seek concerted ways to denuclearize North Korea through cooperation with China, Japan and Russia.
Lee and Obama declared a "joint vision" for the Korea-U.S. alliance based on shared beliefs and trust in free democracy and the market economy. The document has 10 parts and pledges to "maintain a robust defense posture," expressing "continuing commitment of extended deterrence, including the U.S. nuclear umbrella."
On the Korea-U.S. free tree agreement, the two leaders also agreed to "make joint efforts to chart our way forward."
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told Lee that she is well aware of the economic, strategic and political importance of the Korea-U.S. FTA, and pledged to try her best to win support from Congress. U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk said he will push for the ratification of the FTA.